The Shape of Things

The Playing Field

When we talk about the construction of a game we are typically referring to the assembly of structural elements that embody the physical manifestation of the game. In many cases this is simply the most expedient way of enabling the rules of the game, of providing the objects which sustain the play of the game. Nobody expects that chess would be constructed other than as it is commonly presented, because that is the minimal physical format that allows the game to play.

‘mog™’ gives more than this. Underlying the design and construction of  ‘mog™’ is the determination to avoid many of the structural inefficiencies common to game design and to provide a game that, as far as is possible, allows players to play the best game they can.

We do this by respecting the principle of equivalence. All players come to the game on exactly the same footing, and address the playing field and the playing tokens in an exactly equal way. Many popular and widely-played games do not respect this principle – the game is constructed so that key signs and elements are oriented in a specific direction. The player who aligns with that direction has an advantage of comfort and ease.

Take the example of ‘Scrabble’. This is a word-play game where the playing field is marked with signs that orient the play, and players place their tiles in a parallel fixed orientation. Only one player can have the privilege of seeing their tiles in natural aspect.

playing field
The playing field in stand-alone view

‘mog™’ is different. In the first instance the game kit consists of a box divided symmetrically into identical sections for each player, with the playing field placed centrally.

In its most general sense the playing field is a grid of cells for holding and positioning pieces, much like a checker-board, or similar board-games that move pieces through a field of play.

In common with many games, we have numbered these cells for the convenience of the players: a piece has a start-cell, identified by a number, and is moved to an end cell, also identified by a number. Players can use these numbers to verify that a move is proper and correct. This is an amenity to the players because it prevents conflict or confusion over the course of play, a very desirable thing.

What makes ‘mog™’ different is that we have found a way to show each player their own numbers in natural aspect. The cells have been drawn on a series of triangular ridges, each with a pair of faces. Each player sees their own numbers in natural order and properly upright. This is equivalence.

This construction is unique to ‘mog™’ and is recognised as an inventive improvement to the art of board-game design, as, for example, in our patents, US Patent 10,799,786 and PRC patent CN1094754200

‘mog™’ applies the principle of equivalence to all aspects of construction and game play in order to ensure that players have equal access to the game’s potential and to foster a sense of fair play at the outset of the game. All game designers are aware that any given game will appeal to some people more than to others, and the invitation to play a game will only be accepted if the respondent’s positive experience outweighs their negative experience. Our rigorous application of the principle of equivalence is a guarantee to all players that their experiences are positive rather than negative.

Other applications of equivalence are detailed in the pages and sections that follow.